Everybody reading this knows that getting a board game going has it’s pain points – setting it up, teaching it, or learning it. Those are not attractive parts to tabletop gaming for sure, especially in comparison to the immediacy of other forms of entertainment. The team behind Dized recognized this, and sought to leverage modern smart-device app design to make learning games less troublesome. While the app is available for download right now on iOS and Android, and it has a lot of support from users and publishers alike already, the developers are on Kickstarter right now seeking further funding in order to build the app into the best it can imaginably be, and they are offering in-app rewards and promos to boot!

“Dized’s fully-voiced, interactive Tutorials are able to react to what’s happening in your game, so you can learn as you go, turn by turn. Dized acts like the friend that already knows what to do, introducing a game’s rules on a need-to-know basis while adapting to the actions of the people at the table. If the need arises to refresh your memory, Dized’s Rules have you covered. Dized Rules are like fast, searchable FAQs able to respond to all the questions you might have.”

So some of you may be thinking, “wasn’t Dized on Indiegogo before?” You’d be right, it was successfully funded on Indiegogo last year. It’s back on Kickstarter now because the platform has a bigger community, which means more outreach and support, and also because the developers have bigger plans and features in mind. Besides expanding the list of available games, on the docket of additions are “adaptive profiles” which customize the teaching experience based on what the app learns of it’s user, the games they’ve played and the concepts they’re already familiar with. It’s ambitious stuff and it takes a bigger team to make it, and with this push they can really push Dized into the next level. If you’d like to learn more or support Dized, check out the app’s campaign page for videos, reviews, community feedback, updates, and more.

Steve Jackson Games has announced a second expansion to Munchkin Warhammer 40,000 – Savagery and Sorcery. This 112 card expansion introduces two new antagonists – the Space Wolves and the Thousand Sons.

Space Wolves are elite Imperial soldiers, sworn to follow the ideals of Fenris and their commander, Leman Russ. The Thousand Sons have accepted the gift of sorcery from their evil god, Tzeentch, and are spreading Chaos throughout the galaxy. Although both expansions combine well together, you don’t need the first expansion – Faith and Firepower to enjoy this one.

Munchkin Warhammer 40,000: Savagery and Sorcery is designed by Andrew Hackard and features classic Munchkin art by John Kovalic. It is scheduled for release in Summer 2019.

“Ganymede is a development and tableau-building game in which players are corporations specialized in sending settlers to colonize the universe. To do so, you will recruit settlers on Earth, use shuttles to transport them to Mars, then to Ganymede where the settlers’ ships launch base is located.

The game ends when a player has launched four settlers’ ships into space. Players score VP from their launched ships and from their reputation track.”

Back in July, Sorry We Are French released this Splender style game set in space. This had a very limited European distribution. Lucky Duck Games, who have given us Chronicles of Crime and Vikings Gone Wild are fixing that. You too can soon get the experience of colonizing space with your corporation, in a 2001:Space Odyssey style. Look out for Ganymede when it hits your stores.

 

 

“Gemma believes in Science. She’d love to come up with something one day, like LSD or DDT or PVC. So she spends her time experimenting, and for sure, if she keeps trying, she too will finally end up cracking a new molecule that can blow your mind out, kill or be used for building pipelines. In the meantime, green gas is oozing out of her test tubes. She probably won’t get high on it Saturday night though, the smell is so bad it could wake up the dead.”

This is the kind of carnage you will face in this small card game that is now on Kickstarter. A plague of zombies has fallen upon us! Each player is taken it as their responsibility to restart life by creating a base, where they will recruit like minded people to survive the Horde. After a draft phase, you’ll state playing cards in front of you. Character that belong to four factions: Punks, Hippies, Survivalists and Capitalists. These factions never see eye to eye. So you team of survivors will always be different, with their different still sets that will help you fight zombies or other players, get more cards or search for more survivors. And try not to have the cards at the end of a turn, as you will become the tastiest snack for the Zombies!

This is a quick playing, fun, tongue and cheek, tactical card game that has quite a few variants to make it easy or hardcore. You’ll be puzzling over your characters skills, which to use and which not to. Who will defend your base and who is expendable. As well as some take that elements that throw a spanner in the works, making it a struggle to survive while attempting to impose their ways of life for the new world to come…  Be the first to reach 7 points to win the game. But beware, the Horde can also win. So work together to keep their numbers down.

You can check out more of the Kickstarter here. Running until the 7th of November.

Chartered: The Golden Age is a historic and economic building game known for its easy game system.

Back on Kickstarter with some new revisions. This is a Euro style game that sees you as a merchant, looking to profit from the budding trade in Amsterdam in the 1600s. You’ll be investing in enterprises like Tea, Gold and even Opium. Constructing larger and lager warehouses to stock these wonderful wares. And all this is done with two simple choices that you have on your turn. Buy some land or build a warehouse.

Your goal? Profit and wealth. You’ll be changing the face of Amsterdam in a 3-Dimensional aspect, with plastic warehouse pieces that can be stacked as well as be placed side by side. All this is done with card collecting, much like in Ticket To Ride. But you are going to have to time your action well. Building in the right space at the right time could make you a lager profit that you could then spend to invest into one of the nine different stocks. Then remembering who has invested in what, becomes another element of strategy, as players can become the owners of those warehouses. This will net them a very large profit at the end of the game.

New addition to the game are scaling, so a two player game feels as tight as a six player game. Also there are now events that will happen. These will shake up the market a little, just like in real life. A ship of rich silks could sink in a storm, rising the demand and value for them.

A very laid back, smooth euro that feels familiar as well as having a great challenge. You can find it now, on Kickstarter

Spirit Island (2017) by designer R. Eric Reuss has been one of the more interesting cooperative games in recent years, going so far as being a 2017 nominee for multiple Dice Tower Awards, and Golden Geek Awards. Greater Than Games has just started a Kickstarter Campaign for the second expansion to this great game, Jagged Earth. In Spirit Island, 1-4 players control Nature Spirits on a small island, influencing the native Dahan population to rise up and overthrow incoming invaders. And there are invaders aplenty – every round explorers show up on the coast of the island. These remaining explorers will build towns and cities if left alone, eventually creating a blight on the island, eading to the players’ demise. Each spirit type (and there are many) works in a very different way, having their own innate powers and abilities, income of energy, and power cards to instill fear in the unwanted explorers.

The new expansion, Jagged Earth, adds a number of extra features to the already challenging and thinky coop. Jagged Earth adds 8 new spirits to the mix, including Volcano Looming High and Grinning Trickster Stir Up Trouble. 2 of the new spirits come with new play mechanisms, including Badlands and Isolation. The original Spirits are given new life through “Aspects”, a way to swap in new innate powers for old ones. 5-6 players are now supported, using 2 new included island boards for a 6 piece giant board. Tokens are included for increased player count, 2 new scenarios, 2 new adversaries, 50+ new major and minor powers, 30 new events, 6 new fear cards and 6 new blight cards. For fans of Spirit Island, Jagged Earth adds more of what players love with enough new pieces to keep it interesting.

The Kickstarter Campaign for Spirit Island: Jagged Earth continues through November 16, and the expansion is expected to deliver in May 2020.

Since Mayfair Games folded their hand earlier this year, we’ve been slowly learning the fate of the games in their catalog.  Now, we have some clarity on Lords of Vegas.  Z-Man Games will take over publishing for the Lords of Vegas line of games, which includes the base game and the UP! expansion.  It appears that Z-Man will start by selling the existing Mayfair stock of games.

“James and I are thrilled to have Z-Man continue the legacy of Lords of Vegas,” says Mike Selinker, the president of Lone Shark Games and co-designer of Lords of Vegas. “When we were presented with the opportunity, many people from Asmodee and Z-Man told us how much they loved and played the game. So it was a no-brainer. We think our fans will like what Z-Man plans to do for Lords of Vegas in the coming years.”

Perhaps the biggest part of this news for existing fans of the game is that the designers and Z-Man will continue development of the ‘Underworld’ expansion, which had been in the works with Mayfair.  Personally, Lords of Vegas is one of my favorite games, so I am glad that it gets to continue on with a publisher like Z-Man.  Hopefully Z-Man will take the opportunity to improve the production quality for future editions of the game compared to the Mayfair version, and possibly revisit the 1950’s era aesthetic.

If you are not familiar with Lords of Vegas, it is an area influence game, with plenty of push-your-luck and the kind of high stakes you would expect from a Las Vegas casino-building themed game.

You can read the full Z-Man announcement on their website.

Level 7 [Omega Protocol] has been out of print since 2016 and its constant appearances on the Dice Tower’s Top 10 lists can only have contributed to this game vanishing from shelves since then. Privateer Press have chosen to seek funding on Kickstarter to gauge demand for the game instead of releasing it through traditional channels. Considering the project has already achieved over 75% of its funding goal on its first day it should meet its funding goal.

“LEVEL 7 is a sinister science fiction setting where nefarious conspiracies conceal the government’s collaboration deep within an underground research facility with an unspeakable alien menace. Officially, the top-secret military base doesn’t exist. There is no record of it: no blueprints, no photographs, no credible accounts. Rumors persist, but no one has ever found it. And those who have dared to look have disappeared… Now overrun with swarms of monstrous genetic creations led by their nefarious alien overseers, the underground facility of Subterra Bravo is the epicenter of an unfathomable government conspiracy—one that must be kept secret at all costs. To cover up the truth, the shadowy agency in charge of the operation has initiated the Omega Protocol, dispatching an elite team of commandos to retake Subterra Bravo and eradicate all evidence of the sinister creatures within. But the threat these creatures and their alien overlords pose may be far greater than anyone can possibly imagine.” [source]

Level 7 [Omega Protocol] was designed by Will Schoonover (who also designed the other Level 7 series of games), supports 2-6 players, aged 14+, and plays in roughly 60-90 mins. Its a semi-cooperative, tactical miniatures game where players take on the role of a fire team of highly trained commandos who go up against a player, called the overseer, who controls a swarm of inhuman creatures which have token over Subterra Bravo, a U.S. government facility. Both the commandos and the overseer control a resource called adrenaline. Commandos use adrenaline to perform heroic actions, while the overseer uses it fortify their forces. Players can play the game as a campaign of nine missions or the individual missions themselves. The Extreme Prejudice expansion and the Kickstarter specific bonus content adds new creatures, characters, missions, and game cards.

If Kickstarter backers have the original game they can opt to get only the updated content of the 2nd edition, or backers can get the fully update core game, or all content released which includes the expansion.

The Level 7 [Omega Protocol] Kickstarter project will run until Thursday, November 1st 2018, with estimated delivery taking place in June of 2019.

Arraial is a tile-laying game where players create a diverse party and compete to attract visitors.

“Arraial” is the name given to traditional Portuguese summer celebrations during which people take to the streets eating, drinking, and having fun in the old neighborhoods that are bedecked with arches, colorful balloons, popular music, and the aroma of sweet basil. [source]

Arraial is published by MEBO Games, designed by Nuno Bizarro Sentieiro and Paulo Soledade (who have also designed Madeira and Nippon), and features art by Nuno Saraiva. Its a game aimed at families and supports 1-4 players, aged 8+, and plays in about 30 mins.

In Arraial, players take turns placing tiles in their neighborhood with tiles which fit perfectly with previously placed tiles. The central board, from which players obtain their tiles, rotates, which means that a player’s position at the table has an impact on game play.

Tom Vasel really enjoyed the game, even though he was unsure of it when it debuted on Dice Tower Tonight, and you can see his review to see why he said, “The game is fast, it’s simple, it’s fun.  I actually like it better than Uwe [Rosenberg]’s entire trilogy.   I like it better than Cottage Garden, Indian Summer and Spring Meadow.  I just like this one alot.”

If you’re fortunate enough to make it to Essen Spiel 2018, you can get Arraial from Portugese publisher Mebo games, and from Pandasaurus Games early next year.

Dreams of Tomorrow is a competitive, set collection game about weaving dreams, manipulating action spaces, and carefully using abilities. The game is published by Weird Giraffe Games, designed by Phillip Falcon Perry with art by James Masino, plays in about 45 mins, and supports 1-6 players aged 8+.

The future has fallen. After a mysterious decline brought humanity to the brink, the people of the future got to work on fixing the past – by sending sequences of dreams back to our time in order to give us the inspiration we need to change the future.

As a Dream Engineer working in the distant future, you must intertwine memorable and powerful dreams in order to change your present. Catch dream fragments from the Dreamscape and either use their abilities to help you – or weave them together into a completed dream sequence that can be sent back to the past to secure victory! [source]

There are two main modes of play: Pleasant Night, and Troubled Night.

During Pleasant Night, players turns consist of moving around the Collective Consciousness, which is a set of 8 action spaces, and taking the action of the space they land on. The 4 Resource action spaces give players a large amount of resources when used, but also give all other players a small amount of resources. The 4 Dream action spaces let players catch dreams from the Dreamscape, or weave those dreams into a Dream Sequence, or activate those dreams’ abilities. Dreams in the Dream Sequence add dream points, which are necessary to win the game. For an increased challenge, the game can be played in the Troubled Night mode, where the Night Mare can upset action spaces and take actions out of players reach. Solo players can compete against a robot player, which is added to the game. The robot player has quick turns and races the player for points. The robot player can also be added to the multiplayer game to increase the challenge.

The Dreams of Tomorrow Kickstarter project will run until Thursday, November 8th 2018, with estimated delivery happening in September of 2019. The project is currently more than 50% funded. There are multiple pledge levels with varying add-on items ranging from gifts to a bundle of games produced by Weird Giraffe Games thus far (including Stellar Leap and Fire in the Library).